Manatee County settlement with developer Carlos Beruff would pay him more than $312,000

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

MANATEE -- The Manatee County Commission will consider a settlement agreement Tuesday concerning road impact fee credits that would pay developer Carlos Beruff $312,219.

The case involves how impact fees were figured for the Gamble Creek Estates development in northeastern Manatee County, according to county records. Impact fees pay for the capital cost of roads.

"The roads impact fee is calculated so that road capacity for new development maintains the same level of service that the county provides for the current population," a consultant's 2011 report states.

In the case the commission will review, Weatherstone Development owned Gamble Creek Estates, and submitted in 2007 to Manatee County officials an as-yet unapproved impact fee credit application, according to county documents.

In its application, Weatherstone requested road impact fee credits worth an estimated $130,000.

County officials made no formal response to Weatherstone's initial impact fee credit application.

In 2009, Medallion Home at Gamble Creek LLC acquired the property, and Weatherstone assigned to the buyer any future rights to the impact fee credit application, the documents said.

The same year, Medallion Home, led by Beruff, asked for reconsideration of the impact fee. County staff members then determined the road impact fee credit should total $66,496.

In 2011, the Manatee County Commission denied an administrative appeal for credits made by Weatherstone, the original develop

er, documents said.

The case went to court, which ruled in Beruff's favor, declaring a provision of the Manatee County Land Development Code to be unconstitutional, documents said.

The settlement calls for:

• The county to pay Medallion Home $312,219, including $110,824 in attorney's fees, undisputed impact fee credits of $66,496, $63,500 in damages, $63,378 in litigation costs and $8,021 in interest.

• The county to draft a new Land Development Code section about the issue.

• Once payment is made to Medallion Home, it has 10 days to file a voluntary dismissal and complete release of claims asserted in its lawsuit.

• The parties make no admission of liability or fault.

In documents to be presented to the commission, County Attorney Mickey Palmer wrote he: "believes that this is a beneficial settlement for the county, and recommends its approval by the Board."

Every three to five years, Manatee County contracts with a consultant to review its impact fee schedule and updates its fees based on projected growth patterns and total cost to the county, said information outreach coordinator Nick Azzara.

Palmer declined comment Monday.

Beruff did not return phone calls Monday.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrotes.

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